Penalty Notice fines for unauthorised term time leave / holiday - updates

The Local Authority have amended their Penalty Notice code of conduct to take into account the Supreme Court Judgement (Isle of Wight v John Platt) which clarified the meaning of “regular” school attendance as outlined in Section 444 Education Act 1996. Abbey College expect attendance at school to be 100%, unless there are exceptional or unavoidable reasons for absence, which would then be authorised.

In light of this judgement, the Local Authority have removed the criterion of “historical holiday taken” as one of the criteria used to issue a Penalty Notice.

In short, the change is that the Local Authority will now accept requests for Penalty Notices to be issued for single event absences of at least 3 consecutive school days or more where these absences are unauthorised because they are neither exceptional nor unavoidable. This will be implemented with effect from 1st September 2017.

Reporting an absence is easy!

To report a student absence, please ring the relevant House Office number below. Or did you know you can send us an email via our contact form – simply select the ‘House Teams’ option and then the relevant house name. Your form will then be directed to the correct person.

Attendance Team

To report all student absences:

Attendance Officer Mrs F O’Connor
Attendance Telephone Number 01487 812352 Option 3 (1)
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Pastoral Team

 

Churchill House  
Head of House Miss S Duncan
Parent Communicator Mrs L Kendrick
Telephone Number 01487 812352 Option 3 (2)
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Da-Vinci House  
Pastoral Lead Mrs C Peattie
Parent Communicator Mrs L Kendrick
Telephone Number 01487 812352 Option 3 (2)
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Hawking House  
Pastoral Lead Mrs Gregory (maternity cover)
Parent Communicator Mrs K Glen
Telephone Number 01487 812352 Option 3 (3)
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Woolf House  
Head of House Mr Manning
Parent Communicator Mrs K Glen
Telephone Number 01487 812352 Option 3 (3)
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Please also refer to our Attendance Absence Policy in our Policies Page

Attendance matters – EVERY DAY COUNTS

Fact: Pupils attend school for 190 days each year

In April 2017 the supreme Court upheld the ban on parents taking their children out of school for family holidays during term time.  We have been advised by the Local Authority they will be reverting back to their original code of conduct and will be issuing Penalty Notice Fines.

Delivering the judgment, the deputy president of the supreme court, Lady Hale, said: “Unauthorised absences have a disruptive effect, not only on the education of the individual child but also on the work of other pupils.

“If one pupil can be taken out whenever it suits the parent, then so can others ... Any educational system expects people to keep the rules. Not to do so is unfair to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the costs or inconvenience to themselves.”

At 96% attendance –  73% of students achieve 5 A*-C GCSE including English and Maths BUT even at 96% a student would have missed 45 lessons.

19 days off per school year means that a pupil has approx 90% attendance. At 90 % attendance you will have missed 95 lessons in one year! 17 days off school every year means that a pupil will probably obtain a whole grade lower in each exam than they are really capable of.

90% attendance throughout a pupil’s secondary education is half a year absent. At 80% attendance a pupil will have missed 38 days off school

This means that a student will probably be underachieving by 2 whole grades in each subject, only 35% of those with attendance between 80-90% will achieve 5 A*-C at GCSE including English and Maths.

Is Your Child Missing Out? – Focus on Attendance and Punctuality

Research has shown that regular attendance and good punctuality are crucial factors in students achieving their full potential at school.  (Source: National statistics on pupil absence. Dept of Education 29 March 2011).

Abbey College is currently revising School Attendance procedures and has recently appointed a school-based Attendance Welfare Officer who will be working with Parents and Carers and the Local Authority to ensure regular attendance and punctuality of students.

We wish to work in partnership with Parents and Carers and so are seeking your full support in ensuring that your child attends school everyday and on time. We are always pleased to work together with Parents/Carers in resolving any difficulties but we are also committed to improving attendance levels at school.

The target attendance figure for all students is a minimum of 96% attendance.

Based on current attendance figures your child will already be aware of which of the following Attendance groups they are in :

Green: No Concern
A child attends for 96% – 100% of the time.
Even at 96% Attendance a child will miss 40 lessons in one year.
Yellow: Concern
A child attends for 90% – 95.9% of the time.
An average attendance statistic of 90% over 5 years of secondary school education is half a school year missed overall.
Amber: Risk of Underachievement
A child attends for 85% – 89.9% of the time.
A child absent for 17 days each year is likely to obtain a whole grade lower in every exam than they are really capable of.  Interventions are put in to place.
Pink: PA Student & Severe Risk of Underachievement
The child attends for 80% – 85% of the time.
A child absent for 8 weeks in the year would equal an attendance statistic of 80%.
In the pink group your child’s attendance is reported statistically to the Local Authority and recorded as a Persistent Absence (PA) Pupil.  Interventions are put in place.   Parents could be subject to Legal Action.
Red: PA Student & Extreme Concern
Below 80%
A child is likely to be underachieving by at least 2 whole grades in every subject.  The child is recorded as a PA Pupil to the Local Authority.   Intervention will take place.  Parents could be subject to Legal Action.

Your child can see their Attendance Group by checking the Attendance Notice Boards and by discussing this with their Commit Mentor at Commit Time.  You and your child can also see your child’s Attendance Group by checking www.Go4Schools.com

As a Parent / Carer you are committing an offence if you fail to ensure that your child attends school regularly and punctually, even if they are missing school without your knowledge.

Please note this important information which will help you work with us to ensure that your child has the very best chance of success at Abbey College:

  • Ensure your child comes to school every day, on time, equipped and ready to learn.  Lesson 1 begins at 8.40am. Students should be in the building by 8.35. Students arriving very late will be marked absent and will require an explanatory note or the absence will remain unauthorised.
  • Ensure the school has up to date addresses and telephone numbers. We will contact you if your child is absent and you have not contacted the school. This ensures that truancy is quickly identified.
  • If your child is ill, contact the school on each day of absence, before 8.40am, and provide an explanatory note on their return to school.
  • If no contact is received regarding the absence, it is recorded as unauthorised. Ultimately the school is responsible for deciding if the absence is acceptable or not. Only genuine absence will be authorised. You will be asked to provide medical certificates if your child has a poor attendance record.
  • Ensure that medical appointments are made outside of school time.
  • Holidays should not be taken in school time. Any Leave of Absence can only be agreed by the Deputy Head Teacher.
  • Respond to school letters or telephone calls regarding attendance and punctuality. The school will contact you on the same day if your child is absent or has arrived late.
  • Contact your child’s Commit Mentor if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your child into school.

Thank you for working in partnership with us to achieve the highest possible levels of attendance and punctuality at Abbey College.